“No Hope No Fear” confronts Ohnmacht  with both humour and bitter earnestness, asking the question: how might we come to grips with feelings of powerlessness and expand our frame of view to consider forms of collective power and action? Perhaps the doctrine of hope will be replaced not with resignation, but with a new, fresh courage.
 The German word Ohnmacht refers to being ohne Macht (without power): a state in which power is absent or lacking. To be ohnmächtig also means to have fallen unconscious.
Birke Gorm’s “Ohnmacht Monument” invites visitors to reflect on the topic, while in “Archive for Ohnmacht”, it is possible to listen to experiences of Ohnmacht and ways to deal with it, gathered from activists working in a wide range of contexts (Details about the exhibitions below). A “Cellar for Leftist Preppers” uses dark humour to deal with the motif of fortification in response to the threat of total societal collapse, while in “Hotel Bellevue”, guests will spend all night discussing the question of how to “prep” in order to avoid landing in a future defined by bunkers and fortresses. A series of events titled “Café End Times” casts a melancholy and critical gaze on the fading present-day and future worlds that will no longer come to be, while an “Ohnmacht Zine” sums up strategies and builds bridges between theory and concrete action.
Archive for Ohnmacht, Ohnmacht Monument and Cellar for Leftist Preppers
Open Tuesday to Saturday 2–6 pm
21/11/–2/12/2023, Tuesday to Saturday
Reception with invited evening guests, Tuesday to Saturday from 6 pm
Open Hotel: 1/12 and 2/12/2023
If you wish to stay overnight, please register here: email@example.com
Café End Times
17/11/2023, 8 pm with Der singende Bronco
9/12/2023, 8 pm with Paula Irmschler
17–20/1/2024, 8 pm daily with Monika Klengel
Echo Space: Art and Ohnmacht
28/11/2023, 6 pm
Please register at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presentation, 20/1/2024, 6 pm
9/12/2013, 7 pm
17/01/2024, 5 pm
Entry is free, except for Café End Times with Monika Klengel
Winter break: 17/12/2023–7/1/2024
Victoria Fux, Markus Gönitzer, Sara T. Huber, Robin Klengel, Rivka Saltiel, Miriam Schmid, Markus Waitschacher
ORGANIZATION, TECHNICAL SUPPORT AND DESIGN
Arne Glöckner, Sarah Kirchmayer, Mojca Legvart, Minou T. Polleros, Susi Possnitz, Leo Rabensteiner, Sebastian Schröck, Roland Schwarz and more
Sarah Maria Schmid alias Haras Ananas
Archive for Ohnmacht | First Floor
The Archive for Ohnmacht brings together conversations with activists and engaged artists from a wide range of contexts and places. They address an issue that is familiar to almost everyone, but which in activist contexts, is often taboo: the sense of powerlessness and helplessness in light of facts and circumstances that seemingly cannot be changed.
We ask them: Have you encountered a sense of Ohnmacht in your activist work? Have you experienced moments in which you feel overwhelmed by such feelings? And if so, how do you deal with them – and how did you keep going?
Accompanied by drawings by Ivana Bugarinović, a selection of 12 interviews can be listened to via loudspeakers in the main space. Selections or in some cases the full versions of the interviews can be found in the online archive.
Interviews with Doro Blancke, Dóra Denerak Galyas, Djif Djimeli, Nina Khyzhna, Seyda Kurt, Daria Kinga Majewski, Sónia Melo, Mirko Messner, Livinus Nwoha, Andreas Peham, Maike Plath, Norbert Prinz, Leon Ranz, Milo Rau, Rúbia Salgado, Ipek Yüksek, Csilla, Eylem, Tariq und Zeyn.
Interviews and editing: Markus Gönitzer, Robin Klengel and Miriam Schmid
Drawings: Ivana Bugarinović
Mastering: Thomas Grassegger
Technical setup: Leonie Bramberger
Ohnmacht Monument | Birke Gorm | Ground Floor
The floor of the main exhibition space is cluttered with a myriad of small objects: pull-tabs from tin cans, capsules, grommets, hairpins, aluminum foil, wire, needles. Birke Gorm collects shiny material on a daily basis, from household items to things found on the street. These objects may look attractive, but they no longer have market value. They have been rendered superfluous, flotsam washed up by the tide of capitalist overproduction. A massive magpie hoard of “dead” materials transforms the space into a treasure chamber that could just as well be the product of a childhood fantasy of wealth as of the burden of civilization. Sculptural works extend this landscape of found objects: figures formed from jute sacks that have been hand-sewn together. They appear to bulge with materials flooding the space. The materiality of these protagonists points towards the constructed nature of ideological and economic modes of production.
The Monument is the result of an invited competition in which five artists (Ines Doujak, Club Fortuna, Birke Gorm, Katalin Kortmann-Járay, Markus Wilfling) were requested to submit proposals for a sculptural investigation of the notion of Ohnmacht.
Cellar for Leftist Preppers | Forum Keller
Prepping for tough times is a longstanding habit in the far right: fathers arm themselves to the teeth and renovate their family homes into fortresses, while rightwing YouTubers earn a fortune dealing in canned food, and billionaires construct self-sufficient bunkers in New Zealand. That said, at least since the toilet paper crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, prepping has become a mainstream practice. Visions of coming societal breakdown constantly imply that bunkering up is a necessity in order to protect oneself – and one’s “nearest and dearest” – from the threat of apocalypse (with or without zombies). What does it mean when our fellow human beings represent an existential threat in our eyes? How does this shape a crisis-based society? Will we end up back in the cave sitting around the campfire, holding sticks in the flames?
The group exhibition collects these and other absurdities and exaggerations, as well as alternative images of preparation for crisis. How might an emancipatory prepper cellar formed in solidarity look? Are there visions for the future beyond the defence of the nuclear family? Who do we want to hunker down with in the cellar – and what for, actually?
With contributions from Anja Korherr, Anna Vasof, Alice Bucknell, breaded Escalope, Christian Jankowski, Edith Payer, Lisa Horvath, Megan Dominescu, Nikola Macura, Pablo Chiereghin, Shimabuku, Taro Meissner and overnight guests of the Hotel Bellevue.
Curated by Victoria Fux, Robin Klengel and Markus Waitschacher